CAFL Practice Tip of the Month – January 2016

The Mechanics of Filing an Appeal:  What needs to be filed and what needs to be sent to CAFL?

Upon entry of a final decree on the docket, counsel has 30 days to file a notice of appeal. A parent who is appealing must sign the notice; a child-appellant does not have to. Along with your notice of appeal, you should also file a motion for appointment of appellate counsel (with your client’s affidavit of indigency) and a motion for fees and costs.  Sample Motions can be found on our website under “Administrative Forms and Resources.” It is also good practice to file a motion to stay the decree pending appeal if the child is likely to be adopted before the appeal is concluded (about a year).  You must notify CAFL when you file a notice of appeal!  Many trial attorneys believe that the trial court notifies CAFL when an appeal is filed.  Some courts do; most do not.  You should fill out an Appellate Assignment Intake Form, which can also be found on our website at the same link above.  The entire appellate packet (intake form, notice of appeal, and allowed motion for appointment of appellate counsel) should be sent by email (preferred) or mail to Jaime Prince, CAFL Staff Attorney, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA  02108.  If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact Jaime at (617) 910-5743 or [email protected].